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Webster County



Courthouse
County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

LocationPreston
Date Built1915
Architecture StyleNeoclassical Revival
DesignerT.F. Lockwood, Sr.
Seat InformationThe first white settlement in the area of Stewart County that would form Kinchafoonee County was Lannahassee, which was settled in 1836. In 1851, residents of Lannahassee apparently moved to a nearby location, which they named McIntosh. The 1853 act creating Kinchafoonee County named Oliver Taggart, Mason H. Bush, Chappell Coy, Robert Batey, and James Holley as commissioners with authority to locate the site of the county seat and to purchase the land and have it laid off into lots. The act also called for election of county officials on the second Monday in Feb. 1854. If a county seat had not been designated by the time of that election, the county's new inferior court was assume all power to designate the county seat. Though the date of the action is not clear, either the commissioners or the inferior court selected McIntosh as county seat. On Feb. 21, 1856, the legislature changed the county seat from McIntosh to Preston (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 414). Some sources have suggested that this was just a name change, though the actual text of the legislative act states: "Sec. III. And be it further enacted. That the county site of said county of Webster be changed from McIntosh to Preston." On Dec. 22, 1857, the legislature incorporated the town of Preston (Ga. Laws 1857, p. 187). Preston is believed to have been named for former South Carolina senator William C. Preston (1794-1860).
Courthouse DetailsFor most Georgia counties created in the 19th century, the enabling legislation authorized the county's inferior court to select a county seat and contract for erection of a courthouse. However, the 1853 legislation creating Kinchafoonee County (subsequently renamed Webster County) provided for selecting a county seat -- but not erecting a courthouse. It is unclear where court sessions and other county business initially was conducted. However, the Dec. 22, 1857 act incorporating Preston directed that elections be held at the courthouse or some other convenient place in the town. Some accounts suggest that Webster County's first courthouse was built in 1860. Whenever it was constructed, the courthouse survived until 1914, when it was destroyed by fire. The current courthouse was built the following year.
County Data
Population2799
Population 20002390
Population Growth17.1
County SeatPreston
County Area210.3 Square Miles
Location MapWebster County Location Map
History

Webster County was created from Stewart County on Dec. 16, 1853 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1853, p. 304).

Initially, Georgia’s 104th county was named Kinchafoonee County, after the Kinchafoonee Creek that flows through the county. [“Kinchafoonee” was a Creek Indian word that apparently referred to a mortar or bone device for cracking nuts.] However, many residents of the new county thought the name was awkward, undignified, and would invite ridicule from outsiders—so they asked that the county be renamed. On Feb. 21, 1856, the legislature changed the name of Kinchafoonee County to Webster County (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 414). The new name honored the famous U.S. orator and politician, Daniel Webster (1782-1852).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Stewart Webster Journal Patriot Citizen
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
YearPopulation
2010 2,799
2000 2,390
1990 2,263
1980 2,341
1970 2,362
1960 3,247
1950 4,081
1940 4,726
1930 5,032
1920 5,342
1910 6,151
1900 6,618
1890 5,695
1880 5,237
1870 4,677
1860 5,030